Rev Dr David Cornick, Gen Sec of CTE, provides a Reflection for the New Year:
In the dark days of exile in Babylon, the prophet Isaiah heard the word of God – ‘…I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?’ (Is 43:19). They had lost everything. Jerusalem had been laid waste, the Temple destroyed. Their homes had gone, along with the wealth and future they had worked for. Yet it was worse than that, for the Temple, the very footstool of God on earth was gone, and with it all the certainties and securities of a faith that stretched back in time to the journeyings of Abraham and Sarai. Every contour on their intellectual and spiritual map had been obliterated.
As they gathered weeping by the waters of Babylon (Psalm 137) the exiled people of God slowly realised that although everything they treasured had gone, been rendered ‘old’ by the brutalities of defeat and exile, God was still God, and ‘doing a new thing’, marking out paths in the wilderness, blessing the barren desert with the fertility of rivers. God was doing it, but they could not see it. That is why the prophet hears God ask, ‘Do you not perceive it?’
The Babylonians thought they had destroyed the God of Israel along with the Temple, but soon he was making ‘ways’ in the desert beyond their understanding. Centuries later human beings thought they had forced God out of his creation on a hill called Golgotha, but to their astonishment three days later a young man at a tomb announced, ‘He is not here…he is going ahead of you to Galilee, there you will see him..’ (Mark 16:7)
Our God is a God who makes all things new, who does new things, and asks us to open our eyes, see them, and join in.
'Behold I make all things new ...' as we start 2014, various organisational changes take effect which you can see detailed at 'Changes in English Christianity, Changes at CTE'